Stewart Downing hails Liverpool’s team spirit

Midfielder Stewart Downing says a mix of old and new faces at Anfield has helped Liverpool make a good start

kenny dalglish
Kenny Dalglish's men are currently fifth in the Premier League table PA Photos

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Stewart Downing believes the spirit in the Liverpool dressing room is a key factor behind the club’s strong start to the season.

And the 27-year-old England international, who completed a £20m move to Anfield in July, is confident the bond between the new arrivals and the rest of the squad will continue to develop.

“We’re still a relatively new group,” said Downing. “Some of the lads like [Steven] Gerrard and [Jamie] Carragher have been here since day one.

“A few others like Pepe and Dirk have been here a couple of years, then there’s quite a few of us who have only arrived recently. There’s a good mix.”

“I knew a few of the lads already from the England setup so I was lucky in that sense. Some of the other lads didn’t know too many people, such as Jordan [Henderson].

“But I think gradually we’re all getting to know each other and develop a team spirit. It’s good and should continue to get better.”

The former Middlesbrough midfielder believes a good relationship between players is vital to a team’s performance on the pitch.

“It’s a big part of football,” he added. “If team-mates aren’t getting on, then you don’t tend to do well.

“If you all do get on, then that can only help you when you step on the field. The boss is into it big and the players have been out for a few meals together.”

And Downing claims he now feels at home at Anfield after his switch from Villa. “I’ve only been at the club a couple of months but it seems longer because I settled in so quickly,” he said.

“It was easy to feel at home here with the lads. It’s a good club with good people. There is a good group of players and they’ve all helped me.”

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